The Great Debate! Well, at least in today’s age. I too asked this same question.
What is better Paraffin Candle Wax or Soy Candle Wax?
I want to start off by saying that both products are a good quality product, especially when using high quality wax. I don’t want you to think I am bashing on paraffin candle wax and being bias. I wrote this article to be informative, giving you good information and the facts on the two products.
As I started my journey looking for the answers, I started purchasing candles from local stores, grocery stores, small shops and boutiques, and the very first thing I noticed is most candles are made of some sort of paraffin and comes from all over the world. At first, I thought that paraffin must be the best product on the market. One day one of my friends had given me a candle as a gift. I noticed this candle was different from the others I had purchased. It was not made of paraffin or any kind of paraffin blend candle wax, it was made from soy candle wax. When I started this company, I had to make a decision on which product would best fit the candles I wanted to produce. I am excited to share what I have learned!
Here is how I broke it down. What makes up soy candle wax and paraffin candle wax?
Soy wax is about as organic as organic gets. It was discovered in 1991 as a newer alternative to paraffin wax. Its made of 100% soy beans, biodegradable, non toxic and burns cleaner that paraffin wax. Paraffin wax was discovered in 1850. It’s made from removing the waxy substance from crude oil; petroleum, a by-product of the crude oil refining process, in its raw form, it is a white, odorless, tasteless, “waxy” solid. It is the most commonly used wax in candle making. The type of paraffin wax to make candles is food grade paraffin wax. Paraffin candle wax tends to be hard and brittle where as soy wax much softer and tends to melt in warm weather.
The next question I asked myself was what am I breathing?
I am sure you have been in the local store saw a candle, looks great, smells wonderful and straight into the basket and off to the next isle. You get home and can’t wait to burn it. And then you light it. In my experience with paraffin candles I noticed black smoke or soot coming off the wick. I made sure that the wick was properly clipped prior to lighting. Making sure that you “clip that wick” is imperative to proper candle maintenance and safety. This will often times cure the problem of the black soot coming off of these candles. (I will go into further detail of Proper Candle Safety in my next blog.) The burning of paraffin wax contributes to indoor air contamination by emitting petro-chemicals causing soot deposits and carcinogenic particulate matter. A study back in 2009 by the American Chemical Society proved this. The soot that comes off of paraffin candles can stain your walls, blinds, ceilings and the container’s they are in. Just imagine inhaling the same soot into your lungs. This has happened countless times to me and to think, it took opening a candle company to learn what it was.
As I burned the soy candle, I noticed there was no black soot coming off of the candle. However, after some more research I found out that there is no such thing as a soot free candle. Soy candle wax has a very minimal if any amounts of white soot which is invisible to the naked eye, is non toxic to breath, and is ideal for those that suffer from allergies.
How does it burn, and is it safe?
Soy Candle Wax burns longer than traditional paraffin candle wax by almost 30%. Jojo’s Candle Co.’s soy candle wax tea light candles have about an 8-9 hour burn time which is much longer than your typical paraffin candle wax which can average about 4 -6 hours.
The most important factor for me was the fact that soy candle wax has a super low melting temperature (111 degrees) in comparison to any wax out on the market. Typical paraffin wax candles have a melting point of 130 degrees at the lowest to about 150 – 200 degrees). For me , its no wonder why soy candles are ideal for every home. They clean up easy with some hot soapy water.
An occasional paraffin candle and its emissions will not likely affect you. But lighting them every day for years or lighting in an un-ventilated room, such as a bathroom around a tub, for example, can cause problems. For people that suffer from indoor allergies or respiratory irritation, this could be one of the contributing factors as you are reacting to the air pollutants.
Here at Jojo’s Candle Company, after the countless hours of research, it is without a doubt that soy candle wax is by far the purest, cleanest, and safest in comparison to all candle wax types out in today’s market. This is the reason why I chose soy candle wax for my products over paraffin candle wax. I wanted to give my customers the “quality candle they deserve at a price they can afford.”
You can learn more at the National Candle Association: http://www.candles.org/
Additional Information was found at: http://candleandsoap.about.com/; http://www.koppeskandles.com/ http://www.candlescience.com/ ; http://www.maillardvillemanor.com/ http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/presspacs/2009/acs-presspac-august-19-2009 ; http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/08/21/candles.air.pollution/